71 Minutes

Here’s a quick run-down on what I’ve been doing over the past couple weeks at Jon Baines.

Mainly I have been helping out with marketing tours and doing destination research (literally going through thousands of pictures of Indonesia). One interesting thing is that Jon Baines runs tours to Cuba. This kind of blew my mind when I first heard it. I mean, in my American mindset you don’t travel to Cuba. It had never occurred to me that people from other countries would travel to Cuba. But with the changes in relations between the States and Cuba, that is probably all going to change. Which is why when I had to write some promotional material for an upcoming tour to Cuba they asked me to highlight that now is the time to go to Cuba before demand goes up, prices go up, and before Cuban culture becomes too Americanized, haha. I thought that was funny (“before there’s a Starbucks on every corner…”).

Some of the bigger news items in London this week include Wimbledon, the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 bombings, and the Tube strike that started Wednesday afternoon (just time for the evening commute) and goes through Thursday night.

The Tube strike obviously is causing a lot of travel chaos for the city. From what I’ve heard, usually when there’s a strike at least a couple of the lines keep running. But this time it is different. All four unions are striking which means all 11 lines are being shut down. So, in honor of the current Tube strike, I thought I would give you a look into my daily commute to work as that is very much apart of my experience here in London. And, also, to show just how annoying the strike is.

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I start my commute by getting on this bus, which stops just outside our building.
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Approximately 13 minutes later (depending on traffic) I get off the bus here.
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A short four minute walk later, I find myself descending the steps into the Seven Sisters Station (random note: “Subway” does not refer to the tube, rather it refers to the walkway that goes underneath the street to the station).
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4 minutes later, I am on the Tube.
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17-minutes later I get off the tube at Victoria station, in central London. Here is why the Tube is so important to my commute: We don’t live that close to central London. Luckily we have good access to Tube lines that take you into the center of the city in under 20 minutes. Without the Tube…I’d have to take lots of buses. Which are nice, just take a lot longer.
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At Victoria I transfer from the Tube to the National Rail Services. Sometimes the transfer time is shorter than others, just depends on the day. This particular day, I left Victoria Station on the train 17 minutes after getting off the Tube.
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I really like riding the train. I like being able to see the different parts of London.
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After a short seven minute journey, I arrive at Clapham Junction in the borough of Battersea (fun fact: Clapham Junction is the largest rail junction in the UK).
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Then I walk through streets that look like this. I really like where my internship is located. Lots of little cafes and shops. It’s a pretty nice area. You’re still in the city, but it doesn’t feel like it.
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And after a 10-13 minute walk (depends on how fast I fee like walking/how many moms are out with their strollers) I finally get to my office.

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So in total it takes me approximately 1 hour and 11 minutes to commute to work; 71 minutes. As you can see, 17 minutes of that commute is spent on the Tube. My co-workers told me to leave earlier than usual today so I’d get home before the service stopped. I am glad I did. It was a lot busier than usual (with everyone else leaving work early) and I am sure it just got progressively worse. I am super lucky that I don’t work Thursdays, or else trying to get to work on the opposite side of London would be nightmare.

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